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heads in the sand for climate change
It's gotten to be a frequent occurrence over the past few years. Dire predictions about the course of climate change and its impacts turn out to be more dire as new data become available. What was expected to happen eventually is happening faster and more extensively than forecasters had thought.

New research published Tuesday has more of this bad news. The study by Stefan Rahmstorf, Grant Foster and Anny Cazenave appears in Environmental Research Letters. They used satellite data from 1993-2011 to measure the rise in sea level, a technique that works better tide gauges:

[T]he rise in CO2 concentration and global temperature has continued to closely match the projections [of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's models] over the past five years, while sea level continues to rise faster than anticipated. The latter suggests that the 21st Century sea-level projections of the last two IPCC models. reports may be systematically biased low. Further support for this concern is provided by the fact that the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are increasingly losing mass [...] while those IPCC projections assumed that Antarctica will gain enough mass in future to largely compensate mass losses from Greenland
The three scientists said average sea levels are rising at a rate of 3.2mm a year. That contrasts with computer-model estimates of 2mm a year presented by the IPCC just five years ago. That 60 percent higher rate may not sound like much, but sea-level rise is already presenting problems for coastal cities. Princeton University climate professor Michael Oppenheimer says the rise that has already occurred made the impacts associated with Hurricane Sandy worse than they would otherwise have been.
"Generally people are coming around to the opinion that this is going to be far worse than the IPCC projections indicate," said Grant Foster, a US-based mathematician who worked on the paper with German climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf.

The implications are serious—especially for coastal areas of the US. Large portions of America's Atlantic and Pacific coasts are regarded as "hotspots" for sea-level rise, with water levels increasing at twice the rate of most other places on the planet.

In the United States alone, there are tens of millions of people living in those hotspots. Just a one foot rise in sea level would put inhabitants of these areas at risk for having what now are devastating once-a-century storms into once-a-decade occurrences. An interactive map at Climate Central's Surging Seas website explores the incremental impacts of a rise in sea level from one to 10 feet in all the coastal states except Alaska and Hawaii. And here is a map for the whole world.

A Climate Central report in March 2012, Sea level rise, storms & global warming’s threat to the U.S. coast, concluded:

Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. For more than two-thirds of the locations analyzed (and for 85% of sites outside the Gulf of Mexico), past and future global warming more than doubles the estimated odds of “century” or worse floods occurring within the next 18 years — meaning floods so high they would historically be expected just once per century. For more than half the locations analyzed, warming at least triples the odds of century-plus floods over the same period. And for two-thirds of the locations, sea level rise from warming has already more than doubled the odds of such a flood even this year.

These increases are likely to cause an enormous amount of damage. At three quarters of the 55 sites analyzed, century levels are higher than 4 feet above the high tide line. Yet across the country, nearly 5 million people live in 2.6 million homes at less than 4 feet above high tide. In 285 cities and towns, more than half the population lives on land below this line, potential victims of increasingly likely climate-induced coastal flooding. 3.7 million live less than 1 meter above the tide. [...]

The population and homes exposed are just part of the story. Flooding to four feet
would reach higher than a huge amount of dry land, covering some 3 million acres of
roads, bridges, commercial buildings, military bases, agricultural lands, toxic waste dumps, schools, hospitals, and more. Coastal flooding made worse by global warming and rising seas promises to cause many billions of dollars of damage over
the coming decades.

Climate change, of course, knows no national boundaries. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people will be affected, many of them losing their livelihood or being injured or killed. Meanwhile, the costs of repairing storm damage and taking preventive measures will—not might—run into the trlllions of dollars. The longer the wait to take action to reduce the impacts of sea-level rise and other climate-change effects, the worse the consequences, including the economic consequences.

Every time the delegates meeting in Doha, Qater, for the 18th U.N. Climate Change Conference this week and next hear someone say we shouldn't move "too fast" for fear of disrupting the global economy, they might think about the costs of not moving fast enough, human and financial.


DWG has a discussion on the subject here.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:59 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (185+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hammerhand, navajo, cordgrass, 2thanks, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Magnifico, RWood, don mikulecky, FloridaSNMOM, webranding, mollyd, DRo, detroitmechworks, trueblueliberal, Ellinorianne, xgy2, dance you monster, trumpeter, TiaRachel, exterris, maryabein, wayoutinthestix, Glen The Plumber, chimpy, RonV, Pat K California, George3, Gooserock, jnhobbs, bread, PapaChach, dewtx, blueoasis, One Pissed Off Liberal, glitterscale, WarrenS, homo neurotic, Ojibwa, Land of Enchantment, Words In Action, skybluewater, mrsgoo, Chi, Just Bob, LNK, victoria2dc, Simplify, Miss Jones, wxorknot, Rolfyboy6, citizen dan, PhilJD, ItsSimpleSimon, Dallasdoc, Assaf, defluxion10, Sylv, willyr, CT yanqui, uciguy30, spacejam, arizonablue, ridemybike, Cronesense, cinnamon68, devis1, mahakali overdrive, rosarugosa, doroma, cwsmoke, MBNYC, petulans, Karl Rover, leeleedee, pat bunny, muddy boots, Jujuree, kurious, Jim R, divineorder, SeaTurtle, Eric Twocents, Leftcandid, ivorybill, SquirmyRooter, Dvalkure, bear83, hubcap, KJG52, Egalitare, Lily O Lady, carolyn urban, pimutant, missLotus, profh, Ice Blue, LSmith, tonyahky, foresterbob, randomfacts, hester, Smoh, JayDean, jamess, bigjacbigjacbigjac, Thinking Fella, louisev, Roger Fox, zerelda, Paul Ferguson, Siri, Jakkalbessie, sidhra, ashowboat, Loonesta, weck, pioneer111, marina, radarlady, EdSF, Stuart Heady, Tool, bronte17, Trial Lawyer Richard, Lorinda Pike, karlpk, hyperstation, mofembot, Dobber, kevinpdx, New Minas, IndieGuy, tofumagoo, Lefty Coaster, CTLiberal, blueintheface, lotlizard, eyesoars, elwior, ZhenRen, zerone, Rosaura, David54, WakeUpNeo, madhaus, Angie in WA State, sofia, dharmasyd, BeninSC, nancelot, BlueJessamine, terabytes, slowbutsure, figbash, Clytemnestra, PeterHug, Fire bad tree pretty, Milly Watt, roses, LI Mike, North Central, shpilk, A Siegel, condorcet, jerakami, 207wickedgood, jayden, rbird, deepeco, asym, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, sturunner, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, diggerspop, gypsymz, cumberland sibyl, Heart n Mind, filkertom, northerntier, mimi, Iron Spider, Calamity Jean, CA wildwoman, koNko, Randtntx

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 02:59:42 PM PST

    •  OT, book "Global Insanity" (4+ / 0-)

      1. Question: Is there a young adult version? Any recommendations for young adult substitute for this  book?

      2. Not exactly 'insanity' in that the human brain evolved to deal with immediate threats, not with long range threats or long range planning.

      •  this commentator differs with you (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden, bigjacbigjacbigjac, sturunner, LNK

        from the book jacket:

        Coffman and Mikulecky take on the pillars of Enlightenment science—determinism, conservation and the continuum—and leave them in rubble. They see the scientific wisdom of the 20th Century departing ever further from reality, casting society into a breach of deep cognitive dissonance, a.k.a., insanity!
        Robert E. Ulanowicz
        Department of Biology, University of Florida

        An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

        by don mikulecky on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:18:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rec (0+ / 0-)

          A little late to the party. Interested in your book, and yeah, the title is appropriate, shorter and less off-putting than something like:

           "Global Insanity: Do humans have a death wish or are they just complete idiots"

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 01:53:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  How to React to Climate Change news: (American) (38+ / 0-)

    1. Stick Fingers in ears.
    3. Immediately change subject to latest manufactured Republican Hostage crisis.


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:14:55 PM PST

  •  It Just Blows My Mind (22+ / 0-)

    sea levels rising won't directly affect me, cause will if they raise so far they reach southern IL well we have a lot of problems. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that a large percentages of the population, as this study notes, live near oceans. And in fact huge percentages of folks that are lower income, poor live literally on the sea front.

    What the heck are we going to do when hundreds of millions of folks have to move and much of their land they farm, is underwater? I mean you'd think this might be something that would worry us.

    I sure worries me!

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:17:32 PM PST

  •  Sandy (25+ / 0-)

    Demonstrated that those often ridiculed images of Manhattan under water are not some far-fetched fantasy.  Given the current rate sea level rise one would expect that in 20 years or so they might just become  a common occurrence.  

    Global warming is becoming more obvious every day..  I just hope that doesn't imply that it's too late.  

  •  tribes in alaska and west coast face relocation (25+ / 0-)

    and at least one had to move village to higher grounds.

    Louisiana impacts too with land sinking and sea rising:

    The Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced thousands of Native Americans off their land, and tribes like the Pointe-au-Chien headed south and west to the bayou in the 1840s, settling along the Gulf Coast. Now they are losing their land to different forces.

    Everyone saw the damages from Sandy surge, but we don't need a storm that severe to cause surge and flooding due to rising seas. We have so many coastal cities at risk with good chunk of our population.

    DC has to stop delaying action that is effective.

    "It is in the shelter of each other that people live." Irish Proverb

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:21:38 PM PST

  •  We still have plenty of time... (4+ / 0-)

    to build an ark. This time around, though, screw the animals. People will pay a huge premium to buy a ticket.  Of course, it might take thousands and thousands of years for the seas to recede, but think of the future profits from selling scarce real estate!

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:29:12 PM PST

  •  worldwide interactive map, (11+ / 0-)

    in case you want to say Buh-bye to Venice or East Anglia, among other places, is here.

    It lets you adjust the rate of sea rise, so you can see how much is lost at 2 meters, 5 meters, 20 meters and so on.

    The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:33:41 PM PST

    •  An amusing little map. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, Smoh, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      There are some interesting omissions and mistakes.

      I am in San Diego, and the rising water apparently stops at the border.  No change in Mexico I could see on the west coast.

      The Channel Islands (Catalina, et al) are not affected.

      There is apparently a hill in the middle of the runway at North island, Coronado.

      But if you look at California as a whole (espeically at 10M +), it is Lex Luthor's dream - plenty of new beach front property!

      All said, it isn't primarily the water level that is the problem - it is all of the secondary change brought with it.

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:51:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  sea level rise is the least of our concerns (17+ / 0-)

    everything you have heard about global warming so far is  based on 2008 models that had major assumptions within them that reduced their outcomes below what we now see is happening.  By the time sea level is a real concern our climate extremes will have destroyed global society.

  •  There Is This New Show I Am Hooked On (8+ / 0-)

    Dangerous Grounds. I am a huge coffee snub, and it is about this dude that goes to the most out-of-the-way places in search for the best coffee beans.

    I thought I knew a lot about coffee, but alas I didn't. And althought I knew the massive growing of coffee was casuing a lot of environmental problems, I had no idea how bad it was.

    See the best coffee grows at high altitudes and in the shade. So sure you could clear cut a mountain and grow a lot of shitty coffee, but alas you need trees and shade to grow quality coffee.

    And also, it would seem that the best coffee tends to grow in poorer nations and in locations where you can also grow Coca to make cocaine. So there is a lot of pressure on foks to clear cut their forests to grow Coca.

    It is really kind of sad.

    I almost broke down in tears when he found this guy in Hatai. Told him he'd dpay $30,000 for all his beans and that if he would not destory his land he'd be back every single year to buy more. Just don't destory you land to make a "cheap" buck.

    I am sure the dude made a ton of money off that deal, but it was very nice to see somebody doing something.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:36:16 PM PST

  •  Is nuclear power still worse than coal? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, Mindful Nature, mojo workin

    Are we still going to shut down every nuclear reactor on the planet while we keep burning coal for another 100 years?

    Are we still going to keep pretending that 1950's nuclear tech is the absolute state of the art?  Are we going to keep telling engineers who want to work on improving nuclear reactors not to bother, because it's impossible?

    And are we seriously going to keep pretending that the damage from Fukushima (mostly caused by the refusal to properly store spent fuel, and the refusal to upgrade reactors) is worse than global climate change?  Fukushima didn't make Sandy worse and cause $50 Billion in damage.

    Yawn.  Just another climate change diary written by people who refuse to deal with reality.  Either support nuclear power until ALL coal plants are shut down, or stop whining.

    Bring on the sea level rise.  Nothing else is going to wake people up.

    •  I Could Be For Nuclear In The Short Term (10+ / 0-)

      as a bridge to something else. The reason I don't hold nuclear as the be all so many folks do is there are just too many case studies where folks in say Holland or Germany have just skipped nuclear and went right to wind and solar. I forgot the show, but there are both large and small cities throughout Germany that are almost 100% powered by solar and wind. Holland is ahead of schedule, by leaps and bounds, of their goal of 20% of all power being "green" by 2020.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:57:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  not to mention Denmark (7+ / 0-)

        which aims to be 100% renewable, with 30% by 2025 (they're at 18% now, like California, roughly, I believe).

        Interestingly, my understanding is that a central part is buildling a distributied natural gas infrastructure that can be transitioned to renewables.  

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:12:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Denmark Is A Good Example On Many Levels (7+ / 0-)

          they have some of the cheapest and fastest Internet access in the world. 4-5 times (at least) faster than what we have for about half of what we pay. How they did it was kind of really simple.

          They gave the telecom companies, who alreqady had wiring into thge house, huge tax breaks if they'd wire fiber directly into houses. The catch was to get the tax break, they had to open up to fiber to anybody, even their competition, that wanted to offer some service/product.

          Funny thing, they were like OK, we can do that.

          But alas I fear that would never work here. Google just launched their fiber project in Kansas City and Time Warner is pissed. See Google is offering, for $79/month (about $35 for TV) Internet access that is as much as 20 times faster than ANYTING Time Warner offers.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:18:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In the US, the best way would be to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Nelson

            send data down the center of all the strung power line metal wiring.

            The electricity that comes to our homes, does not run through the copper wiring that leads to our homes.

            The power only runs along the outside of the copper wiring.

            Leaving the whole middle of the metal wire to carry data.

            "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

            by Angie in WA State on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:42:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Do you know how small Denmark is? (0+ / 0-)

          It's not a valid comparison.  Sure, Rhode Island could be completely wind powered.  But that's not going to hold for the entire nation.

          And Denmark has French nuclear plants next door helping keep the grid stable.  Don't ignore that fact.

          •  There is no particular reason (0+ / 0-)

            It would not be scalable.  Except of course for the fact that Americans routinely fail where others succeed of course

            Whether France would have nukes in 2035 or beyond is anybody's guess.  In any event, the technologies involved by then are quite likely to be different.  As I noted Denmark is actually not quite keeping pace with California.  All it will take for us is better demand management and molten salt, probably

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 08:54:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, it's the other way around. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Do you know how small Denmark is?
            It's not a valid comparison.  Sure, Rhode Island could be completely wind powered.  But that's not going to hold for the entire nation.

            And Denmark has French nuclear plants next door helping keep the grid stable.  

            The larger the area that's producing and consuming renewable electricity, the easier it is to balance out the power.  Denmark is so small that it is usually all in the same weather pattern.  Either it's windy and they have too much electricity or it's not windy and they don't have enough.  They have made an agreement with a nearby country (Norway, IIRC) that has a lot of hydroelectric dams.  On windy days Denmark sends excess power to the other nation, and it throttles down the hydropower.  On non-windy days, the other nation runs the hydroelectric plants harder, and sends extra power to Denmark.  

            In the US, different regions could make similar arrangements, without the need for international agreements.  If every sunny roof had photovoltaic (PV) panels, the amount of electricity running through electrical trunks would be reduced overall, because so much would be produced literally on top of where it was being used.  This would free up capacity to transmit power from where it was very sunny to where it was partly cloudy or lightly overcast.  Similarly, windy areas would send power to areas with less wind.  Since these areas change from day to day, it would be necessary to change the direction of power transmission from time to time, but it could be made to balance out in the end.  The larger the area is over which the electric supply needs to be balanced, the easier the balance is.  

            Renewable energy brings national global security.     

            by Calamity Jean on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 03:57:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, divineorder, lotlizard

        i have to credit james lovelock's unequivocal advocacy for nuclear (expressly as short / immediate term) as having nudged me from "oh, hell no" to something a bit more circumspect on the topic.

        nuke still skeeves the hell outta me though. radioactive half lives measured in millennia still mean, to me (and perhaps more viscerally than logically), that that is one seriously dick move to kick that big ass can down multiple generations.

        "everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey." -john lennon

        by homo neurotic on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:15:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, supposedly they're on the cusp of having (3+ / 0-)

        "4th gen" reactors online. These would use up 90% (95%?) of the fuel, and can be used to burn up a lot of the waste from our older reactors as well as reduce our weapons stockpile.

        I'm not in favor of any more uranium mining until they get these online, the industry gets its act together, and the mining and the processing of the uranium isn't an environmental nightmare.

        They could at least use these reactors to "clean up".

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:57:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Everyone has their pet panacea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Nuclear, solar, cow flatulence.  None of it means anything if we can't even convince people that global warming is real, is occurring right now and is a very serious problem.  I don't see how we can ever work towards a solution when no one is willing to admit that there is a problem.

      Get people to understand what is happening out there and all options for a fix will be open.  Otherwise it's business as usual.

      •  There's other reasons to want renewable energy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        besides global warming.  Air and water pollution, for two.  

        None of it means anything if we can't even convince people that global warming is real, is occurring right now and is a very serious problem.  I don't see how we can ever work towards a solution when no one is willing to admit that there is a problem.
        More than two-thirds (68%) of US citizens want something done to combat global warming, including more than half of Republicans.  Lots of people are "willing to admit that there is a problem".  It's just that the people who are not willing to admit to it have a lot of money and can buy really big amplifiers.  And they can bribe give campaign contributions to a lot of politicians.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 04:07:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yay! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, MrBigDaddy, corvo

      Whatever would we do without nuclear shilling!

    •  You say it that way as if those are our only two (9+ / 0-)

      options. I reject that.

      I also reject that nuclear is sufficient to be a solution. Nuclear plants take too long to build and there isn't enough uranium. It requires new technology.

      If you're building new technology anyway, why not put more emphasis on other tech that is actually better developed and with fewer question marks and lower liability?

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:10:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because of one simple fact (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        No other technology has the energy density advantage that nuclear has over our current best, i.e. combustion of hydrocarbons.  It is one of those inconvenient facts.  It is an immutable truth that nuclear systems can deliver the most power and energy with the least amount of fuel, least amount of infrastructure investment and environmental disruption per reliable on-demand MWh delivered.  It is a fact that will not, and can not be changed no matter how much one might wish otherwise.  This is a consequence of energy density that is millions-to-one over fossil fuels, along with extremely high power densities of modern reactor systems - with theoretical limits up to the practical limits of known material science.

        Wishing we can make huge strides in cost and practicality for diffuse energy sources (i.e. solar and wind) is is like one wishing to be able to create a perpetual motion machine.  It would be an incredible thing to have, most desirable, except that it is IMPOSSIBLE.  It is impossible because it would violate the 3rd law of thermodynamics.  Nature sets the limiting bounds on what is possible and what is not.

        Energy density of fuels and power density of energy-conversion machines is in the same league.  If your energy source is weak and diffuse, there is no way it will be able to do what energy-dense material can do, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you want it to work.  IT SIMPLY CANT because physical laws makes it so.  Upgrading energy from weak energy flows is intrinsically, thermodynamically at a great disadvantage.  Collecting energy from weak sources will always take larger collectors.  This can never change because it is based on immutable limits based on physics, just as we can't change the laws of thermodynamics to suit our desires.

        This is why I reject efforts to sell alternative energy systems based on weak, diffuse sources that are highly intermittent.  Sure they can work, but the amount of investment - which takes fossil energy - is so much larger.  Given our current circumstances, I think taking the most energy-rich, resource-minimum path is the smartest way out of humanities dilemma of how to be successful, which means consuming vast amounts of energy, without destabilizing the earth's climate system.  

        Nuclear is not just a little bit better.  It is literally MILLIONS of times better on this count.  I can hold in my hand all the fuel (and consequent waste) necessary to produce ALL THE ENERGY I'll EVER USE IN MY LIFETIME.  Consider that against countless tons of coal, oil and gas - and assosiated CO2 and destruction due to mining, transportation, refining to supply all my needs over 80 years.  Then multiply that by billions of people across the globe.  THAT is why the millions-to-one advantage of nuclear processes over combustion is so essential if we are to escape this "energy trap" we have landed ourselves in.

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:16:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's possible you're right and I'm open to (3+ / 0-)

          persuasion. However, the same assholes who are running Big oil/coal are also the ones running nuclear.

          They want to be unfettered from regulation, but they are not trustworthy.
          They must accept rigorous oversight, regulation,etc.
          I'm very big on small scale solar, because it empowers the homeowner, farmer, school district, renter, etc in relation to the utility corporations. I think it will always make sense.
          However, I know we need power for industry, manufacturing, major infrastructure, etc. So I'm willing to look at 4th gen. nuclear. We have to figure out the waste problem before we move one tiny step forward. Where are we going to put it? How much will there be? Etc.

          Ultimately, we need to control the population ( with family planning) regardless of whether we figure the energy component out. We also have a water problem and a food problem, nuclear might help some with the power for water purification, but ultimately it can't solve every problem.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:10:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you, David54. (2+ / 0-)

            we need to control the population,
            with contraception.

            I keep writing diaries about this.

            The overall solution,
            for every problem that can be fixed,
            is less humans causing problems,
            and less humans as victims.

            If there were only 100 million humans
            on the whole planet,
            none would need to live in low areas.

            There would be plenty of land
            for growing crops,
            and raising livestock.

            Click on my username,
            and read my latest diary,
            and earlier diaries,
            about this.

        •  My dear mojo workin, please read this: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean
            Yawn, indeed. I am not a diehard anti-nuker... (9+ / 0-)
          ...But until the supporters of nuclear power as the silver bullet for all our energy problems stop the ridiculous you-conservation-and-renewables-people-are-just-whining-idiots and start acknowledging that we'll need many thousands of the thorium nuclear reactors that are supposedly going to save us and that, so far, not a single commercial-scale thorium reactor has been built since the idea was first broached more than 50 years ago, I won't take your complaints about other people not being reality based as all that persuasive.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:58:04 PM CST

          [ Parent | Reply to this ]  Recommend  Hide


          That comment is downthread,
          in reply to
          Norm in Chicago,

          Meteor Blades
          has worked hard,
          for more than thirty years,
          as a journalist,
          and he is a journalist here,
          doing his research,
          quoting sources.

          I don't have any college degree,
          certainly not in nuclear physics,
          so I'm forced to choose from various sources.

          Meteor Blades,
          on most topics,
          seems like a reliable source.

          I could do a search,
          and read up on thorium reactors,
          but until I do,
          I say that I've heard they are better
          than any we now have,
          but none have been built?

          Bottom line,
          from all I understand on this topic,
          it seems to me that:

          1.  You are absolutely right.

          2.  And you are absolutely wrong.

          If it were just chunks of fuel,
          from everything I've heard,
          you are right,
          one small chunk of radioactive fuel
          produces millions of times more energy
          than a similar sized chunk of coal,
          or natural gas,
          or whatever is second to radioactive fuel.

          On that point,
          I'm convinced,
          you are absolutely right.

          But let's look at one statement you wrote:  

          I can hold in my hand all the fuel (and consequent waste) necessary to produce ALL THE ENERGY I'll EVER USE IN MY LIFETIME.  

          Visualize that handful of radioactive fuel.

          Now visualize
          seven billion

          Not a few hundred,
          or thousands,
          or millions,
          or hundreds of millions,
          but seven billion.

          group them together in bundles of some sort,
          and put nuclear power plants around them,
          for the spent radioactive bundles,
          some shielded bunker of some kind,
          and tell me how many of those plants,
          and how many bunkers,
          and exactly who's backyard
          they will be positioned in.

          aside from all those very large buildings,
          there's another obstacle,
          and if it's the biggest one,
          I share your frustration,
          just as wishing will not change
          the nature of a source of energy,
          wishing will not change

          Maybe the biggest obstacle to nuclear energy
          is fear.

          I know,
          you're working,
          by writing here,
          to reduce that fear.

          Just as I'm working,
          by writing here,
          to convince everyone,
          that we must all consider
          getting our tubes tied,
          surgical sterilization,
          to reduce the numbers
          of overconsuming monsters,
          (Americans and other wealthy folks),
          to reduce the numbers
          of victims.

          Fewer humans in harms way
          means fewer dead
          when harm comes.

          That's the overall solution.

          And most folks bicker over which way
          to keep heading towards brutal famines,
          with cannibalism.

          That's where we're headed,
          if we just keep bickering over energy.

          I predict:

          You will fail
          to eliminate the fear of nuclear energy,
          and I will fail
          to create the fear of famines,
          until it's too late.

          Famines will kill more
          than sea level rise.

          But sea level rise,
          and droughts,
          and floods,
          all those things
          will make the famines come sooner,
          and make them worse.

          And it's too late to build enough nuclear reactors
          to fix the problem.

          It's too late.

        •  Solar has an energy density advantage (3+ / 0-)

          that eats nuclear's lunch.

          For that matter, solar power is nuclear power... just 93 million miles away.

          We're just not as good at converting it and storing it as we want to be.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:40:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Plenty of uranium (0+ / 0-)

        If there were a shortage we could recycle "waste" for more fissionables, but the last time I saw an expert do the numbers, uranium from seawater would be economically viable.

    •  What the fuck? (9+ / 0-)

      Nuclear is your solution?  Jesus.  Could have been building thermal solar and PV for decades already.

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:39:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not just any nuclear (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        Nuclear that doesn't even exist yet.

      •  Ok and what do you do at night (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        and when the wind doesn't blow?  The 24x7 energy consumed by modern society is incredible.  I live in Ontario and we have 1,000 huge wind turbines across the province.  I've seen many days when those THOUSAND turbines produce 100MW - a fraction of 1% of demand.  If we were to run Ontario on wind, we would need TENS OF THOUSANDS plus some yet-unknown means to store energy, and a redundant grid to handle that 4-5x's over-capacity production when the wind blows hard.  You CANT run a grid that way.  The material cost, the land requirements, the cost of yet-to-be determine utility scale storage... it is craziness.

        The reason we haven't been building these things like crazy over past decades is because they just aren't practical, unless you want to pay multiple times the cost AND have an unstable grid.

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:30:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's all about the C02 levels. You must choose (0+ / 0-)

        Unless you're a denier, then you must admit that C02 levels must come down.  Are you serious about that or not?

        Germany and Japan are both shutting down their reactors and will rely on coal, yes COAL for much of their power.  And if reactors here are shut down, the US WILL burn coal for another 100 years.

        You have to choose.  Do you hate nuclear more, or C02 more?  If you want to stop climate change and aren't just pretending, then you MUST shut down the coal plants first.  And that means accepting nuclear power, which this site pretty much refuses to do.

        If the rejection of nuclear power continues, the C02 emissions continue.  It's that simple.

        And no, thermal solar and PV don't work in Chicago in winter when it's dark and cold for 14 hours a day.   Last night there was no sun, and no wind.  I stayed warm by burning natural gas and emitting C02.  Do you get it yet?

        Stop C02 or don't.  Your choice.

        •  You have to solve the toxic waste problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          For reals.  Didn't Fukishima just have a bunch of toxic spent rods just sitting around waiting to pollute the area?

          What's the solution?

          Tell me how this is reliably solved.

          I think there's some other serious concerns too, such as building plants in flood zones.  Also, I hear nuclear power plants have to shut down in high heat else risk melting down.

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:24:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The toxic waste problem is solved (0+ / 0-)

            We know how to recycle spent fuel, and we know how to glassify and bury the residuals where they won't cause any problems.

            The issue is a political one now.  NIMBYs won't let the waste be reprocessed.  And they won't let it be stored anywhere.  That's why the spent fuel was still at Fukishima, because the politicians wouldn't let it be moved.

            Yes, nuclear plants shouldn't be built in flood zones, just like everything else.  The note about the nuclear plant having to shut down during the heatwave was that the cooling pond water was too warm.  But so what?  I'll take C02 free energy for 355 days a year, versus dirty coal energy for 365.  Are you serious or not?

            The solution is to shut up the politicians and NIMBY groups and let the engineers work.  Or we keep burning coal.

            Do whatever you like.  I'm done worrying about climate change until people like you decide to take this seriously.

            •  It is definitely a political issue (0+ / 0-)

              You just don't have the politics of it sized up correctly.

              Why does it matter if it can be glassified when the industry isn't going to spend money glassifying it?

              You want me to trust these guys.  They didn't glassify the waste at Fukishima.  I don't see how you have an argument at all.  They did not do it.

              Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

              by yet another liberal on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:09:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  They weren't allowed to do it. (0+ / 0-)

                And if the industry won't do it, then we do it for them.  If that's what it takes to reduce C02 and eliminate coal, then it must be done.

                Either we're serious and we do everything possible to reduce C02, or we're not.

                Your argument is that because nuclear power hasn't been well managed in the past, that we can't use it in the future.  Just don't complain when you don't get the results you want.  And don't complain to me when the next superstorm is washing away the next American city.

    •  Yawn, indeed. I am not a diehard anti-nuker... (12+ / 0-)

      ...But until the supporters of nuclear power as the silver bullet for all our energy problems stop the ridiculous you-conservation-and-renewables-people-are-just-whining-idiots and start acknowledging that we'll need many thousands of the thorium nuclear reactors that are supposedly going to save us and that, so far, not a single commercial-scale thorium reactor has been built since the idea was first broached more than 50 years ago, I won't take your complaints about other people not being reality based as all that persuasive.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:58:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  False dichotomy (0+ / 0-)

        We're going to need conservation, and renewables, and fission, until and unless society collapses. We must aggressively minimize its use, but for the rest of my lifetime we will tragically need some coal as well.

      •  You can't honestly argue that (2+ / 0-)

        You are effectively saying that until you show me thousands of magical reactors - STFU.  You can't say "so where are these new reactors - oops, not there, ergo you're not reality based!"  This ignores any factual context as to WHY we don't have these reactors moving.  It has nothing to do with scientific validity or technical superiority.  It has everything to do with POLITICS.

        Federal regulation currently makes it IMPOSSIBLE to create a new reactor.  The NRC has a 5-year queue for approvals of standard-design reactors.  No one can even offer a guess as to how long it would take to certify a novel, non-standard reactor?  The fees cost beyond $100 million just to do the paperwork - and that doesn't take into account the size of the reactor.  Good luck trying to mass produce a small reactor - approval fees alone would make it economically impossible.  Now why would ANYONE invest to develop new nuclear under these circumstances?  

        The pro-nukes such as myself are trying to address the politics so these barriers to progress can be dropped.  First is to educate on the intrinsic benefits of new nuclear if we are to remove carbon from our economy in a serious way.  Second is to point out just how absurd our assessment of relative risks is.  We accept thousands killed by fossil fuels every year and slow destruction of our biosphere via CO2 and other poisons released by combusting billions of tons of carbon, yet find the miniscule risk of low level radioactivity so unacceptable that anything nuclear should be in its own special category despite the fact civilian nuclear power is statistically the safest form of energy generation bar none!  It is INSANITY.

        James Hansen, Barry Brook, Patrick Moore, James Lovelock, George Monbiot, Mark Lynas, Stewart Brand and many other well respected life-long environmentalists are saying the same thing: new nuclear needs serious consideration if humanity is to have energy security without carbon.

        The government has in past decades practically forbidden nuclear innovation and enterprise by driving costs and time-to-market too far.  So don't tell me that the lack of new reactors is proof that proponents aren't reality-based.  We are scientists and engineers using a great deal of science and engineering FACT.  We need to change political realities if our science is to bring the benefits we go on about so much.

        I was most heartened to learn that this dam is beginning to crack.  The Obama administration has recently approved funding for the first commercial small-modular-reactor by Babcock and Wilcox.  The B&W mPower reactor is an integrated LWR design.  The design was so chosen as to fit best with current NRC regulatory reality.  Its a start.  

        Turn public policy in the right direction, and you will see these promised reactors, and they will start to decarbonize the economy in a way that is truly scalable.

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:18:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two points, besides noting that you read (0+ / 0-)

          the comment by Meteor Blades.

          1.  Are you truly telling me
          that the NRC
          is full of idiots?

          Totally clueless?

          They could have no scientific basis
          for any of their regulations?

          Are you certain of that?

          2.  You are simply wrong
          about the safety issue.

          You are simply wrong
          to make any statement,
          any comparison,
          between the safety
          of nuclear power generation,
          and the safety
          of, for example,
          a natural gas fired power plant.

          I don't have a great deal of knowledge,
          but I've seen a large boiler
          at a commercial laundry I worked at,
          and I've heard of boilers blowing up.

          If nuclear power plants
          have extremely thick barriers
          to prevent radiation from getting out,
          and to prevent damage from any explosion,
          including a boiler explosion,
          and everything is monitored very closely,
          because of the well founded fear
          of radioactive fuel,
          all that fear,
          causing all those thicker barriers,
          and all that extra careful monitoring,
          watching it like a hawk,
          all that will make nuclear
          seem safer,
          looking at numbers,
          numbers of boiler explosions,
          or any other accident,
          causing any kind of harm to humans.

          Since there are no such barriers,
          no such extra regulations
          on natural gas,
          of course there will be more accidents
          from plants that have less fear,
          and less caution.

          It's like comparing
          air travel
          to car travel.

          Car travel is safer,
          way safer.

          But folks use their phones,
          drive carelessly,
          drive drunk or stoned,
          and you get numbers that make it look bad.

          The incredibly dangerous aircraft
          are closely supervised,
          so the numbers look good,
          especially if you use false numbers,
          such as passenger miles.

          They load up fifty or more passengers,
          and fly them more than 1,000 miles,
          and one take-off and landing cycle
          gets them lots of passenger miles.

          That's lying to the public.

          I gotta quit rambling.

          Good night.

        •  It's not just the U.S. that doesn't have the... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          ..."inherently safe" thorium reactors that are so widely touted in pro-nuke circles. No country has a commercial-scale one in operation.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:38:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I want renewables to ramp as fast as possible (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        I also want coal to ramp down as fast as possible.  And that means not demonizing nuclear and keeping the reactors going until ALL the coal plants are gone.

        Yes, we need thousands of reactors to keep billions of people alive.

        It's nuclear, coal, or choose which 4 billion people have to die.  Have fun with that.

    •  BWRs need to be retired (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Norm in Chicago

      We were lucky the Alabama tornadoes missed the back up power generators. The Fukushima BWRs responded horribly to loss of back up power.

      PWRs performed well in the Japanese earthquake. Shutting them down, except for ones that are near faults capable of large quakes is a mistake.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:21:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this is PRECISELY why (17+ / 0-)

    it is somewhere between baffling and derelict for the IPCC to excise permafrost loss (and ensuing methane release to the atmosphere) from their modeling.

    (see this diary by FishOutofWater for more on the matter)

    "everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey." -john lennon

    by homo neurotic on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:49:40 PM PST

  •  While the Great Lakes are also shrinking! (14+ / 0-)

    Due to midwest drought and heat (also an influence of climate change), the water levels of the largest fresh water system in the world, the Great Lakes, are falling--and significantly at that. There was a recent article about just this in the Houston Chronicle: As Great Lakes plummet, towns try to save harbors.

    This is becoming a very serious situation. Sea levels are rising, while at the same time fresh water levels are falling. That's a double whammy. So even if you don't live near the sea and think you're immune from the direct effect of sea level rise, just look at the fresh water coming out of your tap and ask yourself whether the day is inexorably approaching when that water will start being rationed or will become significantly priced more than you had budgeted for. The times they are a-changin'.

    These are troubling times. Corporations are treated like people. People are treated like things. ... If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now. — Rev. Dr. William Barber, II to the NAACP, July 11, 2012

    by dewtx on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 03:59:48 PM PST

  •  A long time ago, on an internet far far away (10+ / 0-)

    there were these discussion "forums" called BBS.

    There you would observe the early instances of electronic acrimony over what was then termed global warming.

    A common argumentative tactic used by skeptics was "but what if those scientists are over-stating the problem?" The common retort? "What if they aren't?"

    Frankly, we hear the former skeptical trope still, today, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

    Yet here, again, we see that in fact neither response was true - the scientists were (not surprising really) being cautious.

  •  Oh to be a Dutch hydrologist or civil engineer (11+ / 0-)

    You want job security? Seems to me this is the ticket.

    Just become an an expert on how to protect low lying (i.e., below sea level) property from the ravages of the North Sea.

    Oh, and have a tax rate on the wealthy that allows you to pay for your designs.

    Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

    by grapes on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:12:05 PM PST

  •  The leaders of both parties and every maritime (5+ / 0-)

    nation will be fiddling underwater, while New York and Shanghai drown.

    Maybe Alfred E. Newman is a better analogy than Nero.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:13:17 PM PST

  •  I did a quick back of envelope sketch on c-change (10+ / 0-)

    for next 1,000 years...

    Year    AvgK     sealvlchg    icelvlchange
    2000    288     -        -  
    2100    294     2.00      (80.00)
    2200    299     5.67      (226.67)
    2300    304     11.00      (440.00)
    2400    304     16.33      (653.33)
    2500    307     22.67      (906.67)
    2600    309     29.67      (1,186.67)
    2700    310     37.00      (1,480.00)
    2800    310     44.33      (1,773.33)
    2900    309     51.33      (2,053.33)
    3000    308     58.00      (2,320.00)

    Yes, those sea level and ice level #'s are in meters. Basically, anything ice that's not 2.3 km thick is gone, gone gone.

    Also, for reference, a mean temperature of 313K is roughly 104 F, the cutoff point for most photosynthesis.

    And for vast areas of the planet, BYO AC. And O2.

    I'm not even sure what we could do at this point to avoid this given today's tech, and technologies foreseeable out to, oh, about the mid 2200s-2300s.  

    By then those some techs would just make it easier to dig big holes in the ground and wait out the disaster in underground and perhaps undersea cities. Not choice real estate but far more habitable digs than the Moon, Mars or wide-open space habitats/asteroids.

  •  Here's a better interactive map (9+ / 0-)

    You can see what will happen in the rest of the world.  Like how much sea level rise will put Doha, Qatar under water.

  •  Ya' know those pictures of lower Manhattan with (8+ / 0-)

    the flood waters from Sandy? If so, that's what every New York Harbor high tide will look like by mid century. Average mean tide by century's end.

    Something to think about.

    Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

    by Pescadero Bill on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:54:53 PM PST

  •  Our decision makers are insulted from (5+ / 0-)

    the consequences of global warming by their wealth. I suspect that more than one civilization that fell was led there by those in power. We need to find a away to lead our leaders to make better decisions.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 04:59:26 PM PST

  •  There is some truth to your first paragraph....... (4+ / 0-)

    There are indeed some things that have been substantially worse than originally predicted: Take a look at the ice up in the Arctic, for example, or sea level rise as described in this diary(in fact, TBH, I wouldn't be surprised to see at least a 7-8 meter rise by 2100). However, though, I must also point out that hasn't been the case for quite everything: In fact, temperature measurements so far have pretty much about fallen in line with IPCC estimates, even some of the older ones(of course, this doesn't discount the possibility of feedbacks, and we don't know exactly how bad they could get, except for the fact that if they all play out to their worst possible extent, it's at least somewhat likely we'd be hitting 5.5-6*C, maybe even 7*C by 2100 under a totally BAU scenario.....and it may not stop there, either.); we're now somewhere in the general area of +0.5*C above 1979 estimates, or an increase of about .17*C a decade.

    (Interestingly, one of Jim Hansen's more well-known 1988 models, Scenario A, to be exact, suggested a rise of about 1*C by this time, which was pretty off. OTOH, it does appear that B & C were about on the mark, though, we're in between, according to this graph from Skeptical Science:

    And, obviously, I think most on here will agree that time is of the essence if we want to avoid the more challenging(that's putting it lightly!)scenarios........hopefully, some more progress is made this year. =)


    •  what those models did not take into account (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and what current temperature regimes show is a strong negative forcing from Axis I region sulfur dioxide negative forcing.  The entire temperature rise has been skewed by the cooling effects of sulfur.

    •  You're quite right, about temps, which the... (5+ / 0-)

      ...authors of the report I link point out.

      As for Hansen, I don't understand all the hoopla about his missing the mark with Scenario A except that it gives climate change deniers a foothold.

      Hansen provided three scenarios—as many scientists of various disciplines, including economics, do—when dealing with uncertainties. In his 1988 paper on the subject, he specifically said he thought the middle scenario, B, the “most plausible.”

      Seems to me he got it right, or as right as anybody could have been expected to do nearly a quarter-century ago when only a relative handful of scientists were even discussing the issue.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:35:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  IPCC4 also warned that their sea level predictions (5+ / 0-)

    did not take into account Greenland and Antarctica meltwater.  Glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica are declining at a rate faster than expected so the sea level measurements are confirming that ice melt cannot be ignored.

    Scambos et al. have published a number of papers on the Crane glacier in Antarctica which has lowered by hundreds of meters.   This is not all melt but rather the reduction in back pressure from the Antarctic Larsen shelf.  We are beginning to understand the physics of ice loss but unfortunately the ice may be all gone before we get it all figured out.

    Mitt Romney's moral compass points to the Cayman Islands.

    by captainlaser on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 05:25:18 PM PST

  •  This is the most important issue that.... (3+ / 0-)

    ....I can think of that has the least amount of real action on it.  People in the future will look back at our time and wonder what we were thinking.

    •  No They Won't; What We Are Thinking Has Been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      obvious for 40 years. We need to transfer ownership and leadership of civilization to our very richest as fast as possible.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:50:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good news for carpenters, globally. (2+ / 0-)

    I have a very highly developed sense of bleak humor.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:19:40 PM PST

  •  Those Bastard Scientists. (2+ / 0-)

     It's all baloney. Evolution, the scientific polling firms saying Obama looked real good in the swing states, global warming.

      Where are the Crusades when you need them.

  •  Higher sea levels mean higher river levels. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The mighty mississip has to drain somewhere. This is the part the experts don’t want to talk about just yet.

  •  Do We Yet Have? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

     An official concession from the republican base that the earth revolves around the sun?

      If supposedly so, I want to see scientific polling results on it for confirmation.

      It would probably be fifty some percent acknowledging it, I guess.

  •  Doha, Schmoha (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, bigjacbigjacbigjac

    as long as catastrophe doesn't strike during their own political tenures, politicians are and will be more than happy to kick this can down the road.

    There's simply no reward for taking a brave stand in public office any longer.  You can duck the big issues and get spat upon be a few, or tackle them full on and get spat upon by everyone.

    That's why we have such controversy phobic "leaders" these days...we have conditioned them to be that way.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:35:14 PM PST

  •  Bucky Fuller (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Proposed tetrahedronal communities, built of concrete,  2 miles on a side, that sat in the ocean like an iceberg.
    It would be a platform for total oceaneering, aquaculture.

    Esp. given the BP spill, which illustrated the fact that we're trying to do unprecedented, massive engineering projects on the ocean bottom without a credible way to actually go down there and access the environment and fix things, like, say massive oil spills caused by a malfunctioning blow out preventer,
    We need for the President to announce the equivalent of JFK's challenge to put a man on the moon for the world's oceans, (esp. our national waters).

    A down payment can come from the mineral lease royalties from big oil.
    Find solutions to global warming
    Develop strategies for coping with climate change.
    Mitigate environmental damage caused by big oil, agribusiness, etc.
    Develop new technologies for accessing deep ocean environments.
    Aquaculture (fishery development, etc).
    So on and so on.

    creation of millions of jobs
    solution to global warming and climate change
    New technology, the benefits of which are not yet known.
    Technology and products which could be exported to other countries.
    So on and so on.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:41:58 PM PST

  •  Not to worry. At least no one will do... (3+ / 0-)

    ...anything, um, "dangerous," like um, build a "dangerous" nuclear pressurized water reactor, since I was very, very, very, very, very, very, very startled to hear here:

    What I have said all along is that the use of pressurized reactors, including new versions of these machines, is too dangerous to continue for both safety and terrorism reasons, too expensive to build and too slow to implement.
    Now if one hadn't suddenly discovered the primary scientific literature in the last twenty four hours one might find the above statement to be a little, um - how shall we say? - "disingenuous" maybe given that in their more than half a century of operation, pressurized reactors killed almost no one, while air pollution killed in the same period, something like 150 million people give or take 30 or 40 million.

    But, um, pressurized water reactors are, um, dangerous...

    More dangerous one would suppose than submerging Bangladesh and it's two hundred million people, one supposes.

    Tell me again about that huge dangerous death toll accumulated in the more than 5 decades of pressurized water reactor operations, so I can see why so many people who have never bothered to open a science book or journal fought so hard and so long against the world's largest, by far, source of scalable climate change gas free primary energy, nuclear energy.

    Oh that's right, because nuclear energy is too slow to build, even if France phased out it's coal based power in less than 15 years, even though the United States once built 100 nuclear reactors in less than 20 years, and even though around the world in the last three years, 5 countries brought 14 new nuclear reactors on line which will easily out produce the miserable 3,500 MW of average continuous power in more than six decades of caterwauling, money sucking, and wishful thinking on the part of our "solar will save us" partisans here.

    What has already happened is, um, clearly impossible, don't you say?

    What you have said...

    What you have said...

    I believe you also once told us that you hoped to live to 104 so that you could be there for that 2050 solar and wind nirvana that we've been hearing about for five or six decades.

    As for myself, I'll surely be dead by 2050 - not that I have been a big partisan for dumping the irresponsibility and wishful thinking that characterized my generation on a future, possibly grotesquely impoverished generations - I'll be dead along with all the usual hundreds of millions of people killed by then by air pollution and it's new brother, climate change.

    I did live through 1976 and 2000, the first referenced year being the year that the anti-nuke dunderhead Amory Lovinstold usall that we'd all be living in a nirvana "by 2000," the second referenced year, where we'd be getting 18 quads of solar energy to use with the 54 quads we Americans would be burning before conservation.

    That shithead Lovins, thinks that all of humanity is so stupid that he can post a reference to that idiotic claptrap on his website, where he also tells us of his wonderful efforts to "consult" for BP, and Conoco, and the Suncor tar sands people, and Royal Dutch Shell...

    But he's a hero, unlike people like, um, Glenn Seaborg, who is responsible for this country's soon to be destroyed nuclear infrastructure was a piddling moron who couldn't tell - not like a journalist - what is and is not dangerous.

    What you have said...

    What you have said...

    You have said all along that one of the most important scientists of the twentieth century was some kind of venal idiot because he took time from his enormously important scientific work to serve in his government so that more than 100 nuclear reactors could be built in this country in less than two decades - reactors that save billion ton quantities of coal from being mined, burned and having their wastes strewed and spewed into the atmosphere, reactors that operated all over the place for decades without causing a single loss of life.

    What you have said all along...

    What you have said, if you want my translation - and surely you don't - is that climate change was less dangerous than nuclear reactors.

    Congratulations.    We don't have many more nuclear reactors in this country than those that Seaborg caused to be built.

    You know, it's a little late to start opening science journals, and if you took the time to read a lot of them, constantly, regularly, like some people who have written here, you would find that it's too late to suddenly start being educated about environmental science.

    It's too fucking little, too fucking late.

    The time for action was twenty or thirty years ago, when people like the great nuclear scientist/engineer Alvin Weinberg was warning as loudly as he could what climate change would do, only to be ignored and pooh...poohed.

    Thanks for the lesson too on terrorism.    Just for the record, in the 50 year history of pressurized water nuclear reactors, how many nuclear terrorism incidents, have been observed?     How many oil related terrorism events have been observed.    What was that flaming stuff dripping down the side of the World Trade Center towers before they collapsed, oil or uranium?    Who were the terrorists?   Guys from uranium mining countries or oil mining countries?   How come you never tell us that oil is too dangerous to use because of terrorism?    Is it because your imagination is more important than reality?


    It's done.  It's over.

    Heckuva job.   Congratulations.    Drinks for everyone, assuming we can find the glacial run off to fill the glasses.

    Have a nice day tomorrow.

    •  FTR, in the 75-year history of passenger planes... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indycam, Calamity Jean

      ...nobody had used them in terror attacks on those NY skyscrapers either. Just because a nuclear power plant has not been attacked by terrorists doesn't mean none ever will be. Proliferation of nuclear reactors in the numbers needed means politically unstable nations will have them. Indeed, if the shah had survived in power five more years before the revolution had installed the Islamic fundamentalists in power, they would have had a dozen nuclear reactors in operation courtesy of U.S., French and German companies.

      As for speed, a French-German partnership that was supposed to have the fourth-generation EPR on line in Finland by 2007 has several times subsequently postponed firing it up. The latest recent date for doing so was to have been 2014. This summer, they said they couldn't meet that deadline and did not set a new time for when they can. Currently,  the cost overruns on that plant have more than doubled its original price of €3 billion to €6.6 billion.

      Amory Lovins is neither saint nor prophet, but it was the oil-coal-nuke industries that predicted in 1976 that the U.S. would need 135 quads of BTUs of energy would be needed by 2000 and Lovins who predicted it would only take 100 if conservation and efficiency measures were implemented. As it turned out, Lovins overestimated. In 2010, total usage U.S. usage was 98 quads. Lovins wasn't right about solar by a long shot, but a good portion of that error can be attributed at least theoretically to budget cuts in basic solar research and little money until recently put into commercialization. His was hardly the only misstep. In 1980, Exxon predicted that 2000, western Colorado would be producing 8 million barrels of oil a day from kerogen shale. It is currently producing zero although a test site by Shell has in 15 years produced 1,700 barrels.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:29:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Whatever. (5+ / 0-)

    As the lone Republican in my office once said, "I don't mind a few warmer days in January."

    How can this kind of mentality be fought?  I truly don't think it's possible.

  •  But as I'm safely ensconsed in Wisconsin I want to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    stress I don't like nobody touchin' my stuff.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:48:23 PM PST

  •  Wait until the methane kicks in (3+ / 0-)

    then the real fun starts.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:54:33 PM PST

  •  this will sound dickish (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, jayden, bigjacbigjacbigjac

    This will sound extremely dickish, but ya know…

    back in the early 1990s I was a canvasser for Greenpeace and we were warning people about this back then.  The 1990s/early 2000s were the "make it or break it" decade, meaning "you have about ten years to cut back on emissions or global warming/climate change will be irreversible."

    So now I get to watch everyone run around with their hair on fire, scrambling to deal with shit that should've been dealt with TWENTY FUCKING YEARS AGO, when there was still time.

    Game over, kids.  We had our chance, and now it's too late.  It really is.  Even if we miraculously cut our emissions to zero tomorrow, it would be TOO FUCKING LATE.

    And if you think the coastal loss is a problem, wait til it starts impacting the food supply. That's when shit gets REALLY hairy.  And it's gonna happen.  Guaranteed.

    •  no .. what you are saying is .. (3+ / 0-)

      well, it's simply the truth. We now have to prepare for disasters that we could avoided for the most part.

      There are so many variables involved with climate change, rising sea levels will be only one part of a whole series of catastrophic events that will impact everyone on this planet to some degree.

      You are correct about food - increases in starvation and lack of water are already evident in places where people barely survive now. But this will begin to impact everyone, affecting food and water quality and availability globally.

      Changes in disease vectors, migration habits of destructive insects, molds, certain types plant and animal life that will disrupt local habitats is already well documented, but the knock effects of so many changes happening at once will be impossible to predict.

      The massive eruption of CO2, methane and all sorts of biological elements frozen in tundra will create myriads of combinations that can't even be planned for, just in the local Arctic habitats alone.

      Republicans totally abandoned conservatism in the 1980s ..

      by shpilk on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 08:56:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thirty-five years ago... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      ...I was just starting work at the Solar Energy Research Institute, where we were, until Ronzo cut out budget, working on clean energy innovations that, had the funding continued, be several decades more advanced than they are now.

      In 1982, I did the first-ever newspaper interview with Steven Schneider at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder. He was already on his way to becoming one of the most famous climate scientists in the nation. At the time he was immersed in the study of spread of desertification but soon go on to write Global Warming in 1989. I still have my signed copy. That was the same year my friend Bill McKibben's book The End of Nature appeared, which spurred me to get my bosses to syndicate original environmental articles by leading figures to newspapers and magazines around the world. Many of them cried the alarm.

      So, I have a little experience with "hair on fire."

      In my view, arguing that nothing can done is the language of nothing-we-can-do-will-make-any-difference-so-why-even-try is the language of despair. That doesn't work for me.  

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  3.2mm/yr =1 foot and 1/2 in in 100 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm more worried about the heat than the sea level rise.
    Of course I don't live in Venice.

  •  This is a copy of a comment I wrote earlier: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    I wrote a diary yesterday, with my angle of attack,
    on this problem.

    The big problem is food,
    it always has been food,
    it always will be food.

    I think maybe
    the reason our alarms
    are falling on deaf ears
    is that the industrialized world
    has industrialized agriculture,
    and the food is all shipped in
    to the cities,
    and folks who hear about global warming,
    global climate change,
    and rising sea levels,
    fail to connect,
    losing coastal land
    that feeds humans,
    and heat waves,
    and droughts,
    that destroy crops,
    that feed humans,
    or feed the livestock
    that lay eggs,
    or give milk,
    that becomes cheese,
    or are slaughtered,
    to make sausage,
    that land,
    that drought,
    that's the problem.

    There will be civil war,
    there will be famines,
    there will be cannibalism.

    I hope I'm wrong.

    Link to my diary:

skybluewater, Bob Johnson, Pat K California, paradox, Angie in WA State, Sylv, Chi, filkertom, hester, teacherken, glitterscale, Gooserock, Rolfyboy6, mimi, PeterHug, karlpk, Pescadero Bill, Wintermute, hyperstation, Mnemosyne, willyr, frisco, shpilk, sidhra, exNYinTX, hubcap, madhaus, cinnamon68, scribe, bronte17, missLotus, EricS, CoolOnion, CatFelyne, farmerhunt, chimpy, roses, Frederick Clarkson, ivote2004, oneworld, navajo, nancelot, Miss Jones, figbash, pat bunny, wdrath, homo neurotic, Jujuree, Chirons apprentice, defluxion10, gypsymz, zerelda, JayDean, lyvwyr101, machiado, marina, radarlady, Independent Musings, offred, basquebob, dewtx, Brooke In Seattle, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, ratzo, LNK, Fury, Gordon20024, Burned, sofia, lotlizard, Ice Blue, ivorybill, Steve in Urbana, Tool, Savvy813, Lisa Lockwood, mightymouse, Land of Enchantment, webranding, Jim R, begone, Paul Ferguson, detroitmechworks, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Clytemnestra, DiogenesTheElder, tonyahky, Gorette, Dvalkure, victoria2dc, koNko, KenBee, Magnifico, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, DarkestHour, A Siegel, Rosaura, CTLiberal, boatsie, MBNYC, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, WarrenS, kurious, Friend of the court, Temmoku, blueintheface, Thinking Fella, One Pissed Off Liberal, bear83, North Central, out of left field, BeninSC, Cronesense, bigjacbigjacbigjac, devis1, EdSF, FishOutofWater, Trial Lawyer Richard, terabytes, dclawyer06, deepeco, FischFry, bearian, jayden, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, millwood, pioneer111, uciguy30, trueblueliberal, Assaf, vet, condorcet, Roger Fox, wayoutinthestix, spacejam, elwior, cumberland sibyl, KJG52, jamess, Calamity Jean, TomFromNJ, tofumagoo, mofembot, ashowboat, Gemina13, petulans, Tonga 23, Ellinorianne, Mike Taylor, DavidW, watercarrier4diogenes, ZhenRen, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, Bule Betawi, divineorder, nchristine, ewmorr, carolyn urban, don mikulecky, dharmasyd, CanyonWren, maryabein, WakeUpNeo, asym, kevinpdx, Keith Pickering, PhotogHog, mahakali overdrive, citisven, Leftcandid, Words In Action, parse this, smileycreek, SquirmyRooter, rb137, LaughingPlanet, David Harris Gershon, fidellio, cordgrass, ItsSimpleSimon, soaglow, xgy2, slowbutsure, BlueJessamine, mrsgoo, PorridgeGun, muddy boots, LSmith, marshstars, Fire bad tree pretty, PhilJD, randomfacts, Hayate Yagami, DRo, Mentatmark, Azazello, ridemybike, Heart n Mind, cwsmoke, Siri, IndieGuy, Jakkalbessie, orpurple, pimutant, AreDeutz, FloridaSNMOM, Lorinda Pike, This old man, doroma, wxorknot, arizonablue, Glen The Plumber, George3, James Wells, Hammerhand, Dumas EagerSeton, Captain Chaos, Lily O Lady, Eric Twocents, weck, leeleedee, northerntier, Smoh, blue91, jerakami, CA wildwoman

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